Last Saturday, November 19, 2016, in Niagara Falls, NY, The Pretty Reckless introduced their latest record, Who You Selling For, live at The Rapids Theatre.
As an opening band, Them Evils certainly didn’t disappoint. This rock ‘n roll group out of California has some catchy tunes that might remind you of AC/DC, but by no means does this sound like some kind of cheap rip-off. The influence can be heard, but these guys have much more to offer. The songs are energic, hard and heavy, with catchy melodies. However, they could have avoided the cover of the notorious “Ace of Spades” from Motorhead. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t quite good either, and overall I was not impressed by this attempt.
Next on the bill were Holy White Hounds. This show was pumped up with some crazy energy, from the beginning to the very end. Funny interactions between the band members, jumping up and down, rolling on the floor, and just fooling around on the stage, made it a hilarious sight in the best way possible. The guys even cracked a joke or two during their set. I personally think a lot of bands could learn a thing or two (or ten) when it comes to stage performance from this band.
Even though the first two bands were good, the highlight of the evening was definitely The Pretty Reckless. Enigmatic frontwoman, Taylor Momsen, kept hiding behind the curtain of her hair, all the while letting her own signature style and moves shine through. And the voice! It’s hard to believe the girl is only twenty-three! That sultry, seductive, captivating voice with its rough edges is out of this world, although the vocals were sometimes drowned in the rest of mix, especially during “Hangman.”
The band played some older tunes, returning to the very first record with “Make Me Wanna Die,” and after a little encouragement from Taylor, the whole club joined in the chorus of this one. It seemed like every single person in the crowd knew the lyrics, so everyone was screaming their lungs out. The show got into full-swing and the energy spiked up high while Taylor danced on stage. During “My Medicine” and “Take Me Down” she took out a guitar and played. She certainly knows how to handle the audience and people love her up on stage; but more than that, the girl knows how to scream! I would love to see her try to growl.
Taylor Momsen’s dominating stage presence notwithstanding, the rest of The Pretty Reckless are quite amazing musicians, which could be witnessed during guitarist Ben Phillips’s amazing solo in “Heaven Knows,” and the drumming highlights of Jamie Perkins during the last song of the set – “Fucked Up World.” And of course, Taylor as always played tambourine on this one!
Overall, this show was very enjoyable. I had an opportunity to see The Pretty Reckless before, and this was a much better performance than when I last saw them at Rock im Park 2014, even though it’s hard to compare a club show with a huge festival afternoon set in unbearable heat. Their show has a unique feel and style, just like the songs on the last album, so if you dig Who You Selling For, you should go see them live! They’ve grown as artists so much over the years, it’s unbelievable. Can’t wait to see and hear what The Pretty Reckless will belt out next!